She asks if she can sit on the bench &
it is that kind of day in Santa Monica,
slow & gentle so that when she sits,
properly, like a teacher or the pudgy
mother of a girl named Marilyn, in
unison you raise your round faces. The
wind hefts the voices of your deadlings.
They are serious & sorrowful women,
full of warnings, but today seem content
to let you be, saying only, Child, be
thankful, open your chest, that great
cavern, to our other sister. & so you watch the sea.
Who knows what the woman beside you
hears: there are so many languages in the
world & your tongue is tied to this one.
So you sip iced tea & lean a bit forward
into them, your gone women, your sages,
who seem to be stroking your head. You
begin to imagine the ocean floor as a
cup, the pouty lips of God, the soft
foam, the salt as if food, tasting sweet &